TKP-ML OPK Member Ünal Orhan: “In the New Year, We Will Strengthen Hope and Freedom!”

In the New Year, We Will Strengthen Hope and Freedom!

We share the interview with Ünal Oral, member of the Communist Party of Turkey-Marxist Leninist Middle East Party Committee, because it is newsworthy.

-We are leaving one more year behind and entering a new year. While welcoming a year in which the revolutionary struggle will turn every place and every moment into a field of action, there were massacres and attacks in the year we left behind. Of course, revolutionaries also had strong answers to these attacks. These attacks took place with the consent of imperialism and its servant fascist Turkish state. How do you briefly evaluate the past year?

– Last year was a year in which exploitation and poverty increased for all the peoples of the world, and the impact of wars and occupations was greater. This reality shows that the economic and financial crisis experienced by the capitalist imperialist world has deepened, become unresolved and prolonged. The imperialist capitalist system is trying to find a way out of its crisis through wars. Of course, while planning and organising these wars, all calculations are made to lead the peoples to more hunger, poverty and destruction.

While there is such an aspect on the front of the peoples, it must be stated that what is important on the imperialist front is the issue of gaining more superiority over each other in the contradictions between each other, increasing their hegemony, further strengthening and utilising the means at their disposal. The main direction of their orientation is the endeavour to gain more power and superiority over their rivals. Of course, the burden of all this, so to speak, falls on the peoples of the world.

For example, as we have seen in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the bill of the war there was brought to the peoples. Again, in the face of this war, the imperialist capitalist states in the region tried to take a position. This was also a part of the war for hegemony. Western imperialist states and the USA became a party. It is necessary to see that this state of being a party is not for the freedom and peace of the peoples. The only reason for taking sides in this war was to degrade, weaken and squeeze Russian imperialism, the “new Russian Tsars”, and to strengthen their own spheres of domination. It was not to defend the freedom or democratic rights of the Ukrainian people. We have also seen how the Russian tsars, while trying to incite chauvinism and racism, at the same time attacked the anti-war protests of the Russian people. We have once again experienced that the imperialists are enemies of their own people, democracy, freedom, life and nature.

Inter-imperialist “stability” turned into instability and “peace” discourses turned into war.

– What happened in the Middle East?

– These contradictions and conflicts have never stopped in the Middle East. The imperialists’ calculations and interests here have changed the balances. The Turkish state, which knows how to make skilful use of the contradictions between imperialists, made its calculations well and acted by gaining experience from the past.

The Turkish ruling classes recklessly increased their attacks on Iraqi Kurdistan and Rojava. They are trying to destroy the free life, free lands and the idea of freedom here.

The aim of the Turkish state is not only to occupy lands. It wants to turn hope into despair, it wants to blunt the idea of freedom. It wants to destroy both the lives of the peoples and the belief in free life in their ideas. It wants to make the peoples believe that they cannot succeed.

The Turkish ruling classes are doing the same to the peoples in our lands of revolution. In the struggles of workers, women, young people, LGBTI+s, they are trying to instil hopelessness and the idea that they cannot win. However, workers are on strikes, women and LGBTI+’s are on the streets, youth are resisting for their rights. We know that the Turkish state is not only an enemy of youth, workers and women, but also an enemy of children. It is the enemy of freedom. However, the peoples and oppressed groups raised their voices against all these aggressions.

It was the same in Rojava. The attacks continued. Uninterruptedly, Rojava lands were turned into a shooting range. They attacked their living spaces, living resources, nature, houses, water, etc. everything. But despite this, the peoples resisted. The last moment of darkness is like the beginning of light. It is like the moment of going forward when it is against the wall. We can see the dialectical point of view in the peoples living here claiming their lands and living spaces. Likewise, we can say the same for the people of Artshak or Nagorno-Karabakh. There is a great Turanian ideal. We have to accept this. The policy of Turkification of geographies with Panturkism and Panturanism is also seen in the Caucasus.

In summary, the year we left behind was a year in which the contradictions between imperialists around the world sharpened and even evolved into armed conflict as in Ukraine, and in our region, the Middle East, the reactionary states, especially the Turkish state, continued their occupation and attacks.

Against these attacks, struggles, strikes and resistances of the working class and oppressed rights took place around the world. There were also resistance and struggles of oppressed peoples in our geography. In this respect, the basic dynamics of winning the future continued to advance from the bottom up.

“Kaypakkaya is the communist leader of all peoples in our geography!”

– 2023 “Now we are hoisting a flag high in front of everyone’s eyes. If this flag is to be the red flag of the proletariat, all the stains that spoil its redness must be erased with a serious and meticulous effort.” It will be a year in which we meet the 50th year of the murder of İbrahim Kaypakkaya, the creator and architect of the tradition, who put forward his claim with his words. As we enter the new year, what have Kaypakkaya followers done in a year under the occupation attacks? What would you say if you could summarise the one-year process for us?

– I would like to speak on the 50th anniversary of the murder of our leader İbrahim Kaypakkaya with the awareness that it is our duty and responsibility to commemorate him once again and to keep his ideals alive. Workers and peasants lost a great leader 50 years ago. Because the leader comrade İbrahim Kaypakkaya was a light that shattered the darkness with his ideas and views.

In the past year, we, as his successors, have tried to defend and organise the people in these lands where we live. We took part in the trenches with them. We tried to show with our stance and work how to respond to the enemy’s attacks with organisation, consciousness and weapons. Despite all our shortcomings, we have taken important steps. However, our duty and responsibility to grow and develop this still continues.

– As followers of this tradition, what would you like to say about your process in the Rojava defence and war fronts against the fascist Turkish state?

– It is necessary to see and understand that Comrade Leader is not only the leader of the peoples of Turkey. We are not talking about international struggle and solidarity in the classical sense. The geography of the Middle East consists of states that have been dismembered by imperialists and organised according to their own interests. The peoples here are brothers and sisters. In some regions, members of the same family are divided by two borders.

Ahmed Arif, a Kurdish poet, writes in his poem “Adiloş Bebe” for the 33 Kurdish villagers massacred by the Turkish state:

“ We are guardians, relatives, tied by blood

  We exchange with families

  Across the river

  Our daughters, these many centuries

  we are neighbours

  Shoulder to shoulder

  Our chickens mingle together

  Not out of ignorance

  But poverty

  We never got used to passports

  This is the guilt that kills us

  We end up

  Being called




In other words, as the poet expresses, the peoples in our geography are brothers in the true sense of the word. However, the imperialists and the reactionary states of the region are trying to make enemies between the peoples by building borders and walls today. The ruling class of each regional reactionary state creates enemies in the “neighbour” for its own interests and thus tries to maintain its power. For this reason, when we talk about the international struggle in the Middle East geography, we are actually talking about our own struggle.

In this sense, İbrahim Kaypakkaya is important for the peoples of the region living in our geography such as the Middle East, the Caucasus and the Balkans. It should be noted that his theses are a revolutionary and communist response to the problems and needs of these lands.

We have seen this once again here. Comrade Kaypakkaya is not only the leader of the working class, labourers and peasants of Turkey. He is also the leader of the Middle Eastern, Caucasian and Balkan peoples. Because his ideas have no borders. It has a freedom and character that transcends borders. He has an international character. Because the ground on which Kaypakkaya rises is class. This is why he responds to all oppressed classes in our geography and to oppressed nations and nationalities with his theses in the context of the national question.

In short, Kaypakkaya shows the oppressed classes, nations, nationalities and beliefs the way to real liberation. In this sense, he shows the way of liberation and freedom from exploitation and oppression.

As long as we continue to hold on to his views, maintain our loyalty and develop it through practical struggle, we will see that it will be better understood that Comrade Kaypakkaya is the leader of the peoples of the Middle East and a source to be consulted.

The closer we get to his ideas, the closer we get to the truth and freedom. Therefore, we have a duty to Middle Easternise Comrade Kaypakkaya. We must understand him strongly and explain him strongly.

We have such a task before us on the 50th anniversary of Comrade Kaypakkaya’s immortalisation.

At the same time, I would like to call on our people, especially from Turkish-Kurdish nations, oppressed nationalities and beliefs, women, LGBTI +, Alevis … in short, to all classes and segments that are exploited, oppressed, oppressed, oppressed, marginalised in our geography, to organise and fight in our party, people’s army, youth and women’s organisation, which struggles in our geography in line with the ideas of Comrade Kaypakkaya.

Today, there is a certain interest and respect for revolutionary and communist leaders, especially Comrade Kaypakkaya. One reason for this is, of course, the AKP-MHP government’s increasing fascist aggression and the masses’ desire to get rid of this fascist power. However, I would like to emphasise that what makes Comrade Kaypakkaya Kaypakkaya, what makes him a communist leader is his party stance. His organised struggle. A Kaypakkayaism without a party, a Kaypakkaya advocacy without an organisation – although of course valuable – is only and only a nostalgic approach. In the final analysis, it does not contribute to the struggle and liberation of our people!

While expressing this, I would like to emphasise that our party does not grasp Comrade Kaypakkaya in a dogmatic manner, but deals with him according to the current developments and new contradictions that have emerged. This stance also distinguishes our party from other organisations that define themselves as Kaypakkayaist at the current stage. Our party deals with and understands Comrade Kaypakkaya with the slogan of “Reckoning, Rupture and a New Path”. This approach guides its practice.

On this basis, I would like to address especially young people. The ranks of our people’s army are waiting for you for your future and freedom. This is how we should respond to the 50th anniversary of Comrade Kaypakkaya’s murder in torture. Let us join our party and its autonomous organisations to raise the struggle and resistance in the new year. This is what is meaningful and valuable!

– Do you have a message from here to the peoples of the world and our geography?

– The fascist Turkish state is playing a much more advanced character today. It is not only the enemy of the peoples living in Turkey and Turkish Kurdistan. It is also the enemy of the peoples of the Middle East, the Balkans and the Caucasus. Therefore, the leader of an idea that bravely swords an idea that is hostile to the peoples in all these geographies is the leader of all of us. Comrade Kaypakkaya is a vision, a light and a sharp will. Because of this, we will continue to explain Comrade Kaypakkaya to the peoples living in these lands. We believe that we will be strengthened if we explain their freedom problems and revolution problems in accordance with their needs. Of course, while doing this, we will also pave the way to tell our peoples in our revolutionary lands.

As a result, as we leave behind a year of struggle and enter a new year of struggle, we say “resistance” despite all occupations and sieges. We must strengthen hope and freedom. In other words, we must organise. We must be so clear that there is no room for pessimism and despair.

Thank you for giving us this opportunity. Revolutionary greetings and regards…